Monday, March 25, 2013

Cheese Ball

This is a family holiday classic, at least for my family.  In fact, my mom had a hard time giving me a recipe for it because it's just one of those things that she's thrown together for years and years.  I got a general idea from her and then paid attention to amounts as I made it tonight.  She never actually forms it into a ball or rolls it in nuts (which has always seemed gross to me) as many recipes instruct you to.  Nevertheless, we've still always called this cheese ball. 

This is definitely a recipe that can be adjusted and tweaked, depending on your preferences.  You could use medium or sharp cheddar, depending on what you like (I used sharp).  You could also reduce the cream cheese if you're looking for a more intense cheddar flavor or go heavy on the bacon if that sounds good to you.  In fact, I feel like I remember my mom's having a darker orange color which makes me think she didn't use equal parts of cheddar and cream cheese.  My version tasted pretty darn good though so I didn't mess with it. 

And why am I making cheese ball on this Sunday evening in March?  Because it is my TREAT WEEK at school.  This is a super big deal, people.  Every Wednesday at school is treat day.  Each week one teacher or staff member is in charge of bringing tasty treats for everyone to enjoy.  It's amazing how a few fun snacks can improve the mood of an entire building of educators.  I think this is what I like best about cooking: bettering someone's day by feeding them something delicious. 

So, yes, it's Sunday and I'm already working on snacks for Wednesday.  I've got a few other things to make and a pretty busy week and since cheese ball is perfect for making ahead I went for it.



 CHEESE BALL
  • 1/4 pound bacon, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 cups)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

Cook chopped bacon on medium heat until crisp.  Reserve1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease.


In food processor, mix cheddar cheese and cream cheese for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. 


Add bacon grease, 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture is a consistency you like.


If you want your cheese ball to be crumbly, don't add milk here, but if you want your cheese ball to be more like a spread, add milk or cream until the mixture if your desired consistency. 


Add green onions and bacon pieces and pulse the food processor a few times until well incorporated.


Chill. 


I prefer this to be room temperature when serving so that is spreads more easily.  Let cheese ball sit out for a bit before serving. 


Serve with crackers and veggies.  I think it should be served with Wheat Thins.  


Source:  Marsha Porter 

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